Get your family up off the couch for some brain-teasing fun with Kozo, from Winning Moves Games. This 3D stacking game first gained popularity in Asia and now it’s making the rounds to family game nights everywhere.
Kids and parents can play head-to-head or link up in teams to take turns balancing wooden clusters of cubes on top of each other over a base grid that consists of eight squares. The goal is to build a structure without knocking it over but there’s a twist — none of the polycubes can hang over the center space. Think of it like building the walls of a tower while leaving a center space clear for the chimney. This game may sound a bit like Jenga, but it’s actually the opposite. In Jenga, players are removing pieces of the tower while trying not to knock it over, but in Kozo, players are adding pieces to the tower.
Not only will players stack a polycube on top of the tower during their turn, but they will also stack a balance cube on top of any of the polycubes on the board. That limits future moves because players are not allowed to place polycubes directly on top of balance cubes.
Strategy is key because players have to use their noggins to think about where to position the polycubes without any piece of them hanging outside the grid or over the center spot. Avoiding the middle space helps the tower to grow taller faster, making it more and more challenging to balance the 3D pieces. Players can never touch or rearrange the base or the tower being built so it’s all about balance and keeping a steady hand.
Each polycube is made up of two to five smaller cubes. Opponents score a point for every cube their polycube contains. The game consists of three rounds, which take about 15-30 minutes to play in full. Each round ends when the tower topples over or when there are no more polycubes left to stack. After three rounds, the player with the highest total score wins.
Younger kids might not be able to keep up with the strategy aspect of the game, but that’s why it’s recommended for kids ages 8 and up. There are a couple of different ways to play if older kids or parents want to make it more difficult, such as “Kozo Chance,” in which players place the scoring tiles facedown and flip them over on each turn to determine the size of the polycube that they must place on the tower. This version takes away the element of choice, although the strategy factor is still there.
Whichever version you choose, this clever game will stack up to lots of fun during your next family game night.